Well, that was devastating. Whyyyyyyyyy do I even read books?? Why?? You see what they do to me?!?I am, in fact, at Ten standing miserably in the rain levels.While The Immortal Rules was "only" a 3.5 for me, this was such a clear 5 from nearly the beginning. Everything about TEC was more. More action, more bad-assery from Allison, more world building, more villains, more Kanin (omg yay!!) and more romance. The romance in TEC is clearly in one of my top romantic pairings ever. Zeke and Allie?But more on that later.We get to see more of the devastated U.S as Allie travels the country following Kanin's "call". Exploring the general destruction of everything is one of my favorite aspects in any dystopia so I'm always pleased at getting more of it. I already loved Allison but I love her even more now. She is such a strong and real character to me. Tough and capable but with the right amount of vulnerability. You really feel her struggle to be the decent type of monster. I just want to hug her sometimes and tell her I'm sorry her life is so tough and her world so dark. I mean, this is girl who's been stabbed, staked and worse and then things go and happen like this:"This...is music?" Zeke turned to me, blinking. "You've never heard music before?" He sounded stunned. I shook my head, unable to tear my gaze from the strange instrument. The Fringe was full of ugly noises: screams, shouting, cries of terror and anger and pain. My mother used to hum to me when I was very little, and I used to think her voice was the most beautiful sound in the world. I had never heard anything...like this.Do you see what I mean? Character development is not limited to Allison as we see new sides of Zeke, Kanin and even Jackal. I really want to hate Jackal but he makes it hard sometimes. Now that's a well rounded villain!The action and the plot are tight and fast paced. The heightened stakes and threat of danger felt constant and real. I never felt like anyone was safe or wearing plot armor. There is loss, torture, betrayal, death and heartbreak. But my favorite part, easily, was the romance. I have every single romantic scene bookmarked and I think I had a huge goofy grin on for all of them. When paranormal romance is done right I am reminded why I love it more than any other romance genre. And boy is it done right here. The feelings and connection between Allie and Zeke are palpable and real. The struggle of two very different people with overwhelming odds stacked against them coming together and committing to defying the odds is always moving. Here we have some of the most touching scenes of acceptance and love that I've found in any YA literature. I was really struck by how moving Zeke's acceptance of Allie is. I had tears stinging my eyes--the scenes were really that beautiful. I just want more, more, more! Gimme!And that ending? Kill me now. Seriously. This was me at the very, very end:With a heavy heart, I take up my mantle of waiting until April for answers and a resolution. So is...Zeke turned or not? Personally, I see it going either way. The description for Book 3 on Amazon contains this: "And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie." Oh goddddd. I can very easily see that being Sarren having turned Zeke into a blood starved, raving, Lost One. Please, don't be so cruel, Ms. Kagawa. please. I need my babies to be okay. I need it.I'll just leave you with Kanin being Kanin. "There are no good choices, Allison," Kanin offered in a quiet voice. "There are only those you can live with, and those you can work to change."